Ninja Bear: The New Purple Cow

Years ago, Seth Godin wrote a book called ‘Purple Cow‘ all about how to be remarkable. The idea came from a drive through France where he saw all these dairy cows as they drove through the country side. At first this was novel and exciting. But soon it lost its lustre. Ah! But if there was a purple cow. That would be exciting again. As Seth points out . . .

Marketing involves spending money and it’s fraught with the fear of failure (because it often doesn’t work).

This mix creates the perfect opportunity to play it safe and to follow the leader.

Jumping on the brandwagon, if you must coin a phrase.

Here’s the thing: while the second imitator might make it pay, the third, the fourth, the tenth–not so much. The more you try to fit in, the worse you do. The more you rush to follow the leader, the less likely you will be to catch up.

This is central to word of mouth in marketing. Is what you’re offering remarkable? Is it unique? Is it different?

Sometime what we are offering was novel for a time – but isn’t anymore. This is a ball you’ve got to keep your eyes on.

How do you do make yourself remarkable?

Simple: look at what everyone else does and do something better. Look at the industry norms and wonder why the industry does it that way. Often it’s for no damn good reason at all. Where things are good, could you tweak or twist them to make them better? Or could you do something entirely new with it?

This is a fun example. Bears are cool. So cool that I now enlist cartoon bears to teach people about marketing. But you’ve all seen bears. Everyone has. Aha! But have you seen a bear do ninja tricks with a stick? I didn’t think so.

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